The built environment
EU to start measuring embodied carbon emissions from buildings
The European Commission is considering a new EU-wide requirement to measure the carbon emissions associated with construction materials throughout their whole lifecycle but is expected to stop short of regulating.
New Net-Zero Estate Playbook plots decarbonisation of UK Government's buildings
The UK Government has published a new 'playbook' detailing how it plans to decarbonise public sector buildings including schools, hospitals and prisons in line with national net-zero targets.
Landsec outlines £135m net-zero investment plans as Sir Robert McAlpine announces next decarbonisation steps
In positive moves towards a low-carbon built environment sector in the UK, property developer Landsec has published a multi-million-pound investment scheme to support the delivery of science-based emissions targets, while construction and engineering firm Sir Robert McAlpine has pledged to develop 1.5C-aligned targets.
COP26: six things you need to know from Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day
The final day of COP26 proceedings for non-state actors (11 November) was dedicated to Cities, Regions and the Built Environment. Here, edie rounds up the day's big announcements in this space, and summarises the state of play as negotiations enter their final hours.
#SustyTalk: Signify UK&I CEO Stephen Rouatt on decarbonising the built environment
edie's #SustyTalk series of sustainability-related interviews continues with an exclusive discussion with Signify UK & Ireland's chief executive Stephen Rouatt.
COP26 Covered Podcast episode 13: The Built Environment Day climate debate LIVE
With the final full day of COP26 being Cities, Regions & Built Environment Day, Luke convenes a lively podcast panel to discuss the key announcements and net-zero developments across the sector – featuring senior reps from the UK Green Building Council, building materials company Holcim, and professional services firm Jacobs.
COP26: UKGBC unveils new tool to help businesses measure and reduce carbon across building lifecycles
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has unveiled its much-anticipated Whole Life Carbon Roadmap - a tool to help businesses across the built environment sector measure and cut carbon from materials, processes, operation and demolition.
COP26: UK launches new 'urban climate action' fund for developing nations
To coincide with COP26, the UK Government has launched a new fund whereby developed nations can provide funding to support cities and regions in developing countries to decarbonise.
Net-Zero Strategy 'achievable and affordable' but policy gaps need addressing, CCC notes
The Government's Net-Zero Strategy is an "achievable and affordable" means to reaching its legally binding climate target, but some policy gaps still need to be addressed, according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC).
At a glance: All the key announcements in the Net-Zero Strategy
The UK Government has finally published its Net-Zero Strategy, a comprehensive run-through of how the nation will decarbonise in a way that "transforms every sector of the global economy", although some green groups don't believe the steps outlined in the Strategy can mobilise action to deliver net-zero by 2050.
Green leases, renewable electricity and alternative fuels: Inside Lendlease's first year working towards absolute zero emissions
International property and investments group Lendlease has spoken exclusively with edie about the actions it has taken to decarbonise in its first year since setting a 2025 net-zero target for operations and a 2040 'absolute zero-carbon' target.
Time to build our infrastructure on green foundations
Thomas Guillot, Chief Executive of the Global Cement and Concrete Association discusses the sectors road to net-zero emissions.
Grosvenor to use carbon offsetting earlier than planned, in bid to become carbon-neutral by 2025
Property developer Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has announced a carbon offsetting strategy to bolster its 2030 net-zero goal, confirming plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2025 through carbon credit purchases.
Heat and Buildings Strategy: Scotland sets out investments to deliver net-zero built environment
With still no sign of the UK's Heat and Buildings Strategy, the Scottish Government has unveiled its intention to cut emissions from the built environment by 68% by 2030 through a £1.8bn investment plan to transform the nation's building stock to net-zero by 2045.
Orchard Street accelerates net-zero targets through new pathway
Commercial property investment manager Orchard Street has published a pathway to net-zero emissions, including a plan to reach the milestone for corporate and landlord emissions and refurbishments 20 years earlier than planned.
What makes a sustainability leader? Meet rising star Jonathan Ayton
With the entry deadline for edie's 2022 Sustainability Leaders Awards on Friday (1 October), this series showcases the achievements of previous winners. Up next: Winner of our 'Rising Sustainability Star' award, Willmott Dixon's Jonathan Ayton.
edie launches new business guide on net-zero carbon buildings
edie has published a brand new guide exploring how businesses can improve energy efficiency, data collection, local network sharing and staff engagement and wellbeing as part of a long-term journey to deliver net-zero emissions for the built environment.
NABERS: New energy rating scheme for offices available in UK
A new energy rating scheme for UK offices has officially launched this week in a bid to help businesses reach net-zero targets by bridging the gap between the design and in-use energy performance of their buildings.
The Business Guide to Net-Zero Carbon Buildings
With buildings now accounting for more than half of total city emissions on average, it’s clear that urgent and dramatic action is required to accelerate the decarbonisation of the built environment. In addition, the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has seen those that are able to work from home, creating a new dynamic for the energy use and management of corporate buildings.
World Green Building Week: 11 of the best innovations for a better built environment
To mark World Green Buildings Week (20-24 September) edie and its new content partner Springwise have rounded-up some of the most innovative solutions available that are helping to improve sustainability across the built environment sector.
'Reduction-first approach': WorldGBC updates net-zero buildings commitment
The World Green Buildings Council (WorldGBC) has today (15 September) unveiled an update to its longstanding Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, that aims to ignite a "reduction-first" approach to decarbonisation to halve emissions from the sector by 2030 and tackle lifecycle emissions.
CDL and MCL Land secure $847m green loan package to build 1,000+ sustainable homes
Property giants City Developments Limited (CDL) and MCL Land have secured an $847m green loan package, which will be used to support a joint venture developing two sustainable housing developments in Singapore.
Report: 55% of commercial property firms recorded increased demand for 'green' buildings amid Covid-19
Of the commercial property professionals to have responded to a global survey of more than 4,000 decision-makers in the built environment space, more than half (55%) saw growth in demand for sustainable buildings over the past 12 months.
Net-Zero Strategy must not repeat past mistakes on low-carbon homes, major groups warn Prime Minister
A coalition of industry and consumer groups are urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ensure that the upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy and Net-Zero Strategy do not repeat historic mistakes on decarbonising homes.
£160m Government funding boost for improving energy efficiency of social housing
The UK Government has launched a new £160m fund to support social housing providers in making properties more energy efficient.
UK households call for national retrofit plan amid reports of Tory rows over Heat & Buildings Strategy
UK households have written an open letter to COP26 President Alok Sharma, urging him to push the Government to develop a national strategy for decarbonising existing buildings. The call to action comes amid reports of rows within the Government about the cost of low-carbon heating.
Heat pumps and energy efficiency: Mitie plots path to net-zero buildings by 2025
After setting a 2025 net-zero target for operational emissions last year, facilities management firm Mitie has outlined how it plans to reduce emissions from its estate in line with this goal.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Spotlight on net-zero buildings, bars and beverages
In episode 106 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast, edie explores how the net-zero transition is being managed across the places we live, work and socialise.
Government outlines £5.2bn flood defence spending plans
The Government has today (29 July) outlined how £5.2bn will be spent over the next six years to improve the nation's resiliency against flooding, following the weather-related events that occurred in places such as London this week.
New environmental roadmap developed for homebuilders
UK homebuilders have backed a new Government-led plan to ensure that new builds are zero-carbon ready by 2025 as well as improving biodiversity and reducing waste.
Construction Leadership Council plots path to net-zero
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC), which is co-chaired by Minister for Business and Industry, Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has outlined plans to help the sector reach net-zero emissions as part of the wider national target.
Report: Built environment failing to account for lifecycle emissions of projects
Businesses operating in the built environment sector have been called upon to adopt a whole lifecycle approach to assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with a new report finding that less than 1% of global building projects currently calculate and report on lifecycle emissions.
Cadogan sets net-zero emissions target for 2030
Property developer and investor Cadogan Estates has unveiled a set of sweeping sustainability targets to reduce waste and water usage alongside a headline commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2030.
It's time to enlist historic buildings in climate action
All great political and economic revolutions are achieved through a combination of 'Big Bang' - the wow, if you will - and evolutionary developments in society. The Storming of the Bastille was the culmination of a huge societal shift experienced in France over many decades, for example. Big Bang plus incremental change.
Tasmania's 200% renewables goal and Toast Ale's B-Corp recertification: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
How to be a net-zero winner
As part of edie's Net-Zero Carbon Playbook, Centrica Business Solution's net-zero product manager Alex Lowe explains the steps that organisations can take to thrive during the net-zero transition.
Net-Zero Carbon Playbook: edie launches new business blueprint report
edie has launched a new report that acts as a business blueprint of key considerations for the UK private sector to assist with efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan declares 'retrofit revolution' to slash building emissions
London will soon host a new £3.5m 'centre of excellence' to help social housing providers retrofit their homes, and City Hall has also entered a new partnership deal that could unlock £10bn of private finance to cut building emissions.
The challenge for Biden, Boris, and the rest of us
Imagine yourself several decades from now, settled happily in your rocking chair, when your wide-eyed great-granddaughter walks into the room. She fixes you with a stare and asks the question you have long dreaded: "What exactly did you do to cut carbon emissions from the UK's stock of homes and commercial buildings in the early twenty-first century?"
After Green Homes Grant failure, Government 'dodges' recommendations on energy-efficient homes
The Government has admitted that it did not consult stakeholders before launching the now-defunct Green Homes Grant scheme, in a document that MPs have said is evidence that it is shirking responsibility on domestic energy efficiency.
Taylor Wimpey targets nature net-gain under new sustainability strategy
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has published an updated environment strategy, with headline targets including science-based emissions reductions and a commitment to increase habitat at all new sites.
Green Homes Grant: Less than 10% of promised vouchers issued
Less than £200m of the £2bn of vouchers initially promised under the UK's Green Homes Grant Scheme has been issued, new official Government figures show.
Diageo's low-carbon bottles and Michelin's carbon-neutral goal: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
Taking a data-backed approach to sustainable offices
In light of Covid-19, travel restrictions and the adoption of flexible working arrangements have resulted in a general decrease in office occupation in the UK. Teams have adapted and embraced the use of teleconferencing, which has provided a convenient, low-carbon alternative to in-person meetings and is expected to be sustained, at least to some degree, in the future.
British Land confirms approved science-based targets on journey to net-zero
Property development and investment giant British Land has had interim carbon reductions targets to help deliver net-zero emissions approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
What does the UK's sustainable office of the future look like?
Many of the UK's biggest businesses are planning to downsize their office estates this year, while outlining plans to continue remote working post-lockdown. But are environmental considerations a driver, as well as Covid-19? And will the office of the future be truly sustainable?
New edie report launched to help businesses create sustainable offices post-lockdown
Organisations looking to make their offices more sustainable across the axes of environment, society and financials now have access to a free new downloadable guide on the topic.
edie Explains: Sustainable Offices in the 'New Normal'
Why is it important for businesses to explore holistically sustainable offices, in the wake of Covid-19? And what are the key challenges and opportunities for businesses developing more sustainable offices? This free edie Explains guide answers these key questions and more.
Morgan Sindall outlines fresh carbon accounting and engagement moves on road to net-zero
After announcing a 2030 net-zero target last month, Morgan Sindall Group has outlined new measures to track and reduce carbon across its construction business - and to engage the communities where its construction projects are located.
Retrofit revolution can cut emissions and deliver £7.5bn energy savings for UK
Retrofitting the UK's building stock with low-carbon solutions could reduce national energy costs by £7.5bn a year, create more than 150,000 jobs over a 10-year period and cut carbon emissions by 20%, MPs have been told.
LED retrofit reduces energy use by 21% for South Western Railway
South Western Railway (SWR) has delivered a 21% reduction in the energy consumption of its properties, following the installation of more than 16,000 LED light fittings across its properties.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Choosing to challenge for International Women's Day 2021
The new edie podcast episode is streaming now, featuring three exclusive interviews to mark International Women's Day 2021.
New report details how businesses can help deliver sustainable cities and communities post-Covid-19
edie has launched its latest SDG Spotlight report, looking at how businesses can transform to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) post-lockdown, with the latest focusing on Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
SDG Spotlight: How Businesses Can Achieve Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities
edie's latest SDG Spotlight report provides a detailed progress update on how businesses are transforming operations, services and supply chains to deliver Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities across the globe.
Morgan Sindall targets net-zero emissions by 2030
The Morgan Sindall Group is the latest construction company to commit to reaching net-zero emissions, aiming to reach that milestone by 2030 at the latest.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Natalie Orde, Grosvenor Europe
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Grosvenor Europe's sustainability manager Natalie Orde.
Report: Real estate sector's inaction on climate change could increase costs by $2.5trn
Globally, real estate firms could rack up $2.5trn of additional costs in the future unless they accelerate action to decarbonise buildings and to boost climate adaptation and resilience this decade.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Pavan Patel, Multiplex Construction Europe
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Multiplex's senior sustainability manager, Pavan Patel.
Real estate giant CDL targets net-zero operations by 2030
City Developments Limited (CDL) has become the first large business in Southeast Asia to sign the World Green Building Council's (WorldGBC) net-zero carbon buildings commitment.
Low-carbon heat: UK's heat pump sales set to almost double this year
The UK's heat pump manufacturers have collectively placed orders with suppliers for more than 67,000 units this year - around double the number currently already in warehouses and on shelves.
Aviva Investors warns it will divest from climate laggards
Aviva Investors has warned that it will fully divest from companies that fail to decarbonise in alignment with net-zero climate science and will issue a new programme that engages with carbon-intensive companies to meet climate goals.
Legal & General plots course to net-zero real estate across £21bn UK portfolio
Legal & General's Real Assets arm has outlined plans to reach net-zero across its UK real estate portfolio by 2050, including new investments in onsite renewable energy and carbon offsetting.
What makes a sustainability leader? Meet CBRE Global Investors
With less than two weeks until the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards, this feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winners of the Investor of the Year Award, CBRE Global Investors.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Chris Landsburgh, Wills Bros Ltd
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Wills Bros Ltd's environmental and sustainability manager Chris Landsburgh.
Government unveils 'radical' energy efficiency standards for homes and offices
All homes and business facilities will be required to meet new energy efficiency standards that reduce energy consumption and lower bills by 2025, after the Government finally outlined responses to the Future Homes Standard.
Orchard Street targets net-zero across £4bn portfolio of buildings
Commercial property investment manager Orchard Street, which manages retail units, offices and industrial facilities worth more than £4bn, has outlined plans to reach net-zero ahead of the UK government's 2050 deadline.
BBC to outline net-zero target for 2030
The BBC's director-general Tim Davie has outlined ambitions to staff for the broadcaster to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, with further details expected later in the year.
Mace achieves net-zero operations and developments
Major construction and consultancy firm Mace has announced that it is now a net-zero business, after investing in measures to reduce emissions and setting up an offsetting scheme.
TSB and Aviva Investors plot pathway to net-zero carbon
Major retail bank TSB has unveiled its plans to reach net-zero by 2030, after cutting operational emissions by 66% during 2020. At the same time, Aviva Investors has revealed its plans to decarbonise its real assets portfolio.
#SustyTalk: How can the built environment deliver a green recovery?
edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with a special panel discussion on the green recovery for the built environment, featuring Bennetts Associates' director Peter Fisher and FORE Partnership's managing director Basil Demeroutis.
Report: Can the built environment achieve a green recovery?
edie has today (8 January) launched a free report detailing the appetite within the built environment sector to collaborate to overcome the challenges presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and to "build back better" by championing the green recovery.
Mission Possible: Achieving a green recovery for the built environment
edie's Mission Possible campaign has evolved to focus on the green recovery, with a new series of reports outlining the challenges that businesses in key sectors face in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, and the opportunities that the green recovery will bring. Up next, the built environment.
Lendlease outlines roadmap to reach zero carbon emissions in Europe
International property and investments group Lendlease has launched a new roadmap which outlines how eliminating diesel use on construction sites and procuring 100% renewable electricity will help the company reach net-zero emissions by 2040.
UK ramps up climate adaptation plans in build up to COP26
The UK has become one of the first countries to publish an official plan setting out how the nation is responding to the climate crisis through adaptation and resiliency plans that focus on flood prevention and rewilding.
Think Zero: Grosvenor plots pathway to net-zero by 2030
Property developer Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has outlined plans to become a net-zero business by 2030 and earmarked £90m to retrofit and 'future-proof' its portfolio of buildings across London.
Canary Wharf Group targets net-zero by 2030
London-based property giant Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has outlined plans for reaching net-zero by 2030, including new commitments on electric vehicles and heat.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Kate Neale, Cadogan
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Cadogan's sustainability manager Kate Neale.
What makes a sustainability leader? Inside Ikea's Greenwich store
With the 2021 Sustainability Leaders Awards approaching, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2020 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Built Environment Project of the Year, Ikea.
National Infrastructure Strategy: Government to deliver 'revolution' tied to net-zero
The Government has launched its long-awaited National Infrastructure Strategy, detailing how transport, industry, energy and the built environment will be transformed to reach net-zero, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak using his spending review to confirm a £12bn commitment to the net-zero transition in 2021-2022.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2020: Julie Dang, Canary Wharf Group
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Up next: Canary Wharf Group's CSR programme coodinator Julie Dang.
Net-Zero Navigators podcast: Meet Velux's vice-president for sustainability, Ingrid Reumert
To mark Net-Zero November, edie is publishing a mini series of podcasts interviewing the trendsetters and trailblazers in the net-zero movement. Up next: Velux's VP for global communications, sustainability & public affairs, Ingrid Reumert.
London can lead the UK's net-zero ambition as a world beating sustainable city
Boris Johnson's party conference address confirmed an already established belief that the green economy is no longer a fringe idea but is ripe for centre stage. The government is wholeheartedly committing to our net-zero targets - and is now detailing the tangible measures that can make this a reality.
£2bn Green Homes Grant and £1bn Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme open for applications
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has officially launched £3bn of initiatives aimed at improving the energy efficiency of housing and public sector buildings.
Future Homes Task Force to ensure housebuilding is aligned to UK's net-zero target
A new cross-sector Future Homes Task Force is set to establish a multi-million-pound Delivery Hub to assist the built environment sector in improving the environmental footprint of new housebuilding.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Talking net-zero for World Green Building Week 2020
Episode 91 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast delivers three exclusive interviews with experts across the built environment sector to mark World Green Building Week 2020. With buildings accounting for around 40% of global energy consumption and 33% of emissions, this sector is a key focus in the transition to net-zero.
Report: Circular economy can halve emissions of UK infrastructure projects
Transitioning to a circular economy can assist in the net-zero transition, with a new report supported by AECOM stating that carbon reductions of up to 50% can be delivered and £35bn generated for the UK economy by using closed-loop materials throughout the design process of infrastructure projects.
Businesses urged to harness 'nature-based solutions' to combat climate emergency
Businesses have been called upon to trial and pilot 'nature-based solutions' (NBS) in helping them reduce environmental impacts while helping the surrounding areas improve resiliency against a range of climate risks.
Mott MacDonald signs World Green Building Council's net-zero commitment
Five major companies including Mott MacDonald have signed up to the World Green Building Council's (WorldGBC) net-zero carbon commitment, which binds signatories to reach carbon neutral operations by 2030.
Ibstock to pilot net-zero factory
Brick manufacturer Ibstock has announced plans to pilot at least one net-zero factory, with the company outlining its intention to set a net-zero carbon goal for its operations in the near future.
Net-Zero Business podcast: Exploring Turley's journey to carbon neutrality
In response to the accelerated pace at which corporates are examining and setting net-zero targets to help alleviate the climate crisis, edie has launched a new spin-off of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Up next, discussions on engagement and offsetting with Turley.
Government faces backlash over 'zero-carbon-ready' homes proposal
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has today unveiled new proposals to streamline the planning process for housebuilders, in a bid to deliver homes that are "zero carbon ready", but environmental groups have warned that the shake-up to planning could neglect the natural environment.
Landsec unveils plans for UK's first net-zero office in London
Property developer Landsec has revealed that it is progressing plans for what it hopes will be the UK's first net-zero commercial building - an office block in Southwark, south London.
Building back better: What role should construction and retrofit sectors play in the UK's green recovery?
EXCLUSIVE: The Treasury this month launched a £3bn package to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings while boosting employment post-pandemic. But what needs to happen now to ensure that the schemes it funds align with net-zero, and what about new buildings?
M&G Real Estate sets out net-zero commitment
M&G Real Estate has unveiled new carbon reduction targets, committing to reaching net-zero emissions across its operations by 2030 and its real estate portfolio by 2050, in line with the Government's net-zero target.
First zero-emission McDonald's restaurant unveiled at Disney, Florida
McDonald's has unveiled its first zero-emissions restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, with solar arrays, green walls and kinetic bikes all featuring to create enough renewable energy that the building will need each year.
'An encouraging start': Reaction as Treasury unveils £3bn boost for green economy
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his Summer Economic Update to Parliament, including a £3bn package to stimulate the UK's green economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has broadly been welcomed by key individuals and organisations.
Survey: Energy professionals believe retrofitting is key to a green Covid-19 recovery
A survey of 350 UK-based energy professionals has found that 80% want the majority of the UK's Covid-19 recovery package funnelled into 'green' industries, with energy efficiency retrofits for housing cited as the most popular route to both economic recovery and net-zero.
Barratt Developments sets net-zero target for 2040
The UK's largest housebuilder, Barratt Developments, has built on recently announced science-based targets by committing to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
UK's Covid-19 recovery package must mandate building retrofits, 100 businesses tell Ministers
EDF, Dimplex and Kingspan are among the cohort of 100+ businesses, investors and trade bodies calling for the UK's Covid-19 recovery package to contain legally-binding measures for addressing wasted energy and carbon emissions from housing.
British Land targets net-zero portfolio by 2030
Property development and investment giant British Land has unveiled a sweeping new sustainability strategy, headlined by a 2030 net-zero target for its office and retail estate.